During Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday, Wally Adeyemo, President Biden’s nominee for deputy treasury secretary, promised to take a hardline approach to China.
“China is our top strategic competitor,” Adeyemo told the Senate Finance Committee. “Where China is not willing to play on a level playing field, it’s important that we hold them accountable in the international system.”
Adeyemo said he favors economic sanctions as a tool to counter Beijing and other countries, a favorite weapon of the Trump administration. President Biden is continuing Trump’s economic warfare. Countries like Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea are still under crippling sanctions that have a devastating impact on the civilian population of the target nations.
“Treasury’s tools must play a role in responding to authoritarian governments that seek to subvert our democratic institutions; combating unfair economic practices in China and elsewhere; and detecting and eliminating terrorist organizations that seek to do us harm,” he said.
Adeyemo’s tough talk on China follows the pattern of Biden’s cabinet members who all had harsh words for Beijing during confirmation hearings. If confirmed, he will serve under Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Last week, Yellen said that Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods will remain, at least for now. During her confirmation, Yellen vowed to “use the full array of tools” at her disposal to confront Beijing and also called China the US’s top “strategic competitor.”